SRINAGAR — Have you ever wondered why airfare is most expensive to and fro Srinagar? If yes, who do you believe is responsible? Authorities? No. Passengers? No. The real culprits for inflated prices are travel agents and airline operators!

Travel agents in Kashmir pay in advance and that also, as early as six months and buy air tickets in bulk from airline operators. These agents then sell the tickets to sub-agents just a few days before the actual Departure dates.

Depending on when a sub-agent wants to buy it from these bulk buyers, they sell them at a huge margin depending on some basic mathematics – Departure minus the days left in the actual date of travel.

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Knowing the fact that these agents have purchased tickets in advance, airline operators increase the prices to make tickets expensive as days approach the Departure Date. They do so in order to run this syndicate for their own profit.

If you have to book a ticket from Delhi to Mumbai or any other part of India, even if you want to travel on the same day, it would not be as expensive as booking a ticket 10 days in advance for Srinagar (SXR) to Delhi or any other part of India to Srinagar (SXR). The reason is that no one buys bulk tickets in advance for any other route in India. The only affected route is Srinagar to anywhere or anywhere to Srinagar.

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Sub-agents make people fool by giving them a rebate of Rs 100 or 200 but they make a huge profit in thousands per booking while the main agent makes multiples on his ‘investment’.

A helpless passenger is, therefore, exploited by the syndicate consisting of airline operators (who go on increasing prices as the Departure Date approaches), travel agents (who purchase bulk tickets in advance) and sub-agents (who eventually sell the tickets to travelers/customers).

This syndicate needs to be busted so as to make air travel affordable to and fro Srinagar which in turn will prove fruitful for our tourism sector as well.

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